Background Briefing: January 30, 2019


If Trump Cheated Can We Have an Election Do-Over?

We begin with the flashing of the Nixon victory sign by Nixon and Trump’s dirty trickster Roger Stone as Stone leaves federal courthouses which intentionally or not, links President Nixon to Trump and the Mueller investigation to Watergate which ended with Nixon resigning to avoid impeachment. Corey Brettschneider, a professor of political science at Brown University and author of “The Oath and the Office: A Guide to the Constitution for Future Presidents” joins us to discuss how a candidate who cheated and undermined an elections is unfit to take the oath of office to defend the constitution.  And if Trump cheated on his way to the presidency he betrayed his oath of office to defend the basic laws that underlie our system of government. We look into what could happen once it becomes clear that Trump gained the presidency by foul as opposed to fair means, and what mechanisms exist in the Constitution to deal with an illegitimate president in terms of an election do-over, short of the grounds for impeachment spelled out in the Constitution citing high crimes and misdemeanors.


Intel Chiefs Warn Trump is Driving Russia and China Together

Then we assess the impact of yesterday’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee by the country’s top intelligence officials delivering their annual global threat assessments in which they contradicted President Trump at every turn. Kent Harrington, a former senior CIA analyst who served as National Intelligence Officer for East Asia and helped prepare prior reports to Congress, joins us to discuss the most alarming aspect of the testimony that Russia and China are working closer together against the United States as Trump alienates our allies with insults and divisive trade wars. And since after the testimony Trump lashed out at the intelligence chiefs calling them passive and naive tweeting they should go back to school, we will gauge the reaction of the intelligence community.


Looking for Fissures in the Trump-Fox Feedback Loop

Then finally we explore the right wing media universe for signs of fissures following stinging criticism of Trump from Ann Coulter and other Fox News and Breitbart pundits who excoriated him for caving to Nancy Pelosi over the shutdown without getting his wall. Matt Gertz, a senior fellow at Media Matters where he writes extensively on media ethics and the Trump-Fox feedback loop, joins us to discuss his article “Trump’s propagandists go to war with each other after he caves on the shutdown” and how more and more Trump is following the policy advice offered by Fox & Friends and the other Fox pundits he watches for hours each day.